Volume 5, Issue 6
November 8, 2005
An Online newsletter of
"The Andy Griffith Show" Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 5, Issue 6
November 8, 2005
Welcome to our 23rd issue of "The eBullet."
**** Remembering Beloved "Fun Girl" Jean Carson (1923-2005) ****
All of Mayberry (and Mount Pilot!) are greatly saddened by the death of Jean Carson on November 2, in Palm Springs, Calif. Jean suffered a stroke in late September and was partially paralyzed after that.
Though always a fighter, Jean never gained traction toward recovery after the stroke. She had experienced poor health off and on during the last several years. She and her family very much appreciated the good thoughts and prayers of her Mayberry family of friends and fans during her illness.
Fans all across the entertainment world adored Jean for the talented, lovely person she was. Her portrayals of lady convict Naomi and her three episodes as Mount Pilot "Fun Girl" Daphne endeared her to Mayberry fans most of all. Her gravel-voiced "Hello, doll" became her signature line. Jean seemed to enjoy the fun of saying the line just as much as fans loved hearing her say it.
Indeed, I would say that no Mayberry star ever enjoyed being a part of Mayberry and its continuing legacy more than Jean did. She loved staying in touch with Mayberry fans through correspondence and phone calls, and in person. She cared for her fans every bit as much as they loved her. She took the time to remember names and learn about families.
Her enthusiasm was obvious at reunion events where she delighted in donning both convict and polka-dotted Fun Girl wardrobe. She especially enjoyed recreating favorite scenes with David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning, Allan "Floyd" Newsome and Kenneth "Big Maude" Junkin. My responsibility in her "Convicts" sketch was to provide the break-away bottle (to be used as a vase) for Jean to smash over Allan's head in a re-creation of her classic scene in O'Malley's cabin with Floyd. I have one more break-away bottle left. What I wouldn't give to see Jean do that scene just one more time. And I know Allan would like to have one more shower of shattered sugar-glass fall around him, too.
Jean was so enthusiastic about Mayberry and her fans that she even spear-headed an attempt to bring a Mayberry event to the Palm Springs area over a period of several years. Pulling off any Mayberry event from scratch is a tough prospect, but it's especially difficult in a place as far removed from the base of Mayberry fans as Palm Springs. The palm nut ultimately proved too tough to crack, but it wasn't from a lack of heart or determination by Jean.
Jean's friends and fans extended far beyond Mayberry. Born in Charleston, West "By God" Virginia on February 28, 1923, Jean first started acting in her hometown before going to Pittsburgh to study drama at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon University). After graduation, she headed to New York where she worked in live radio and theater, including many shows on Broadway, where she starred with the likes of Robert Preston, MacDonald Carey and Melvyn Douglas and was nominated for a Tony Award.
It wasn't long after arriving in New York that she also began to get work in the early days of television. Over the years, she worked with everyone from Ronald Reagan and Jack Lemmon to Red Buttons and Jerry Lewis. Hollywood and work in films dovetailed with her success on stage and television. Her first film was the acclaimed "Phenix City Story." She followed that with the sci-fi cult classic "I Married a Monster from Outer Space," a movie with a title that fit right in with Mayberry.
Sci-fi audiences also admired her performance in a "Twilight Zone" episode titled "A Most Unusual Camera." Rod Serling wrote the script with her in mind as the star. Jean appeared in countless TV episodes from the forties through the sixties. Her film work continued until the late 1970s. In her later years, Jean was very active with the community and little theaters in the Palm Springs area. She thrived on helping young performers cultivate their talents and interest in acting. Through it all, Mayberry was always closest to her heart. She considered her Mayberry episodes and working with the TAGS company to be among her most pleasurable acting experiences.
Her being able to recall those satisfying times at various Mayberry reunion shows during the past 15 years and to see how the joy of those episodes resonated with fans always greatly pleased Jean. She was humbled by the devotion of her fans and felt a real pride and duty to continue to honor the show and never disappoint fans.
Especially in her more frail later years, Jean had to be careful not to push herself to the point of exhaustion in her dedication to greet fans at events, but she usually pushed herself anyway. She wasn't satisfied until every fan who wanted to meet her had the chance to do so. That often took many hours. We loved Jean as the Fun Girl, but all fun aside, she was an incredibly hard worker who genuinely cared about other people.
Jean's survivors include sons Carson Parlan and Tracy Alexander, and Tracy's wife, Nancy. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of Jean's family. Personal condolences may be sent to the family c/o son Tracy Alexander at 59105 Lincoln Street, Thermal CA 92274.
Also check for comments (including personal messages from Jean's family and a last message to fans on behalf of Jean) at her Web site at http://www.hellodoll.com. The site has information about a memorial service planned for Jean in Palm Springs on December 4. There's also a message board on the hellodoll.com site for leaving your comments about Jean to be read by the family and all others who visit the site.
Fans of film and TV will be able to cherish Jean's performances for generations. Those who were blessed to meet her in person and to get to know her can treasure special memories of the great "fun" she brought with her wherever she went. Friends and family can have comfort in knowing that Jean had a strong religious faith that gave her peace and strength as she faced her last days of this life.
It is with tremendous sorrow that we have to say, "Goodbye, doll!" But we can all smile with the knowledge of what were no doubt Jean's first words at her next greeting.
Note: You can read more about Jean's fascinating life and career in "More than a Fun Girl from Mount Pilot—The Jean Carson Story," a 1994 biography written from Jean's perspective by Lee Grant with Jean's participation.
**** NEWS OF CAST & CREW ****
ANDY GRIFFITH has been named by President Bush as one of 13 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil honor. Andy and the other recipients (including TAGSRWC Honorary Member Paul Harvey) will be honored (or were honored, depending on when this newsletter actually reaches readers) in a White House ceremony on Nov. 9. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution" to the country.
This is one occasion when it definitely is not hyperbole to say, "This is big!" (Aw, big ain't the word for it!) At least Andy always has dibs on the perfect three-word response upon receiving any honor. (Fellow recipient Muhammad Ali will have to punch Alan Greenspan if he says, "I 'preciate it" before Andy gets the chance to.) And Andy and the President have plenty they can talk about, such as what it's like to have best friends named Barney.
The Medal of Freedom is not Andy's only recent accolade. In September, he was also honored by his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, with the Carolina Performing Arts Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala event in Chapel Hill. Andy announced that same weekend that he is donating his papers (including all of his scripts from TAGS) to the Southern Culture collection at the university. He is also donating musical instruments, recordings, films, and other artifacts from his career and life.
Andy is continuing to split his time between his homes in Manteo, N.C., and Los Angeles. He was asked to make a cameo appearance in an episode of Ron Howard's "Arrested Development" earlier in the fall, but the request was on very short notice and he couldn't make the trip from North Carolina to California in time for filming. He was nevertheless mentioned several times in the episode. ("Arrested Development" fans eagerly anticipate that Andy will eventually be able to make an appearance on the hilarious show.) Andy did do a new interview for the "American Revolution: Country Comedy" special on Country Music Television in October. (George Lindsey was also interviewed for the special.)
DON KNOTTS is doing well and is mostly just taking it easy this fall. He's the voice of the Turkey Mayor in the chick flick "Chicken Little," which is now in theaters nationwide.
RON HOWARD is busy with production of "The Da Vinci Code," which is expected to be one of the major films of 2006. And we probably haven't seen the last of this year's "Cinderella Man" in theaters. It might be re-released to allow audiences a chance to discover it after it was somewhat overlooked amid "Star Wars" hoopla earlier this year. And Ron's Emmy Award/TV Land Award-winning comedy series "Arrested Development" (we keep plugging it!) is still trying to find an audience. It is a favorite of critics and has an avid, but, so far, small following among viewers. The Fox Network continues to show faith that the show's brilliance will catch on.
RANCE HOWARD guest-starred as a character named Dirk Abrams in an October episode of "Ghost Whisperer."
CLINT HOWARD was a hoot in the opening segment for "Monday Night Football" in September.
JIM NABORS is getting geared up for his annual Christmas concert in Honolulu in early December (see the Event Calendar for details).
GEORGE LINDSEY is winding down from a busy year. He has a private performance for the Tennessee Walking Horse Association in December, but otherwise is focusing on preparations for his film festival (with already well over 100 entries) next March and enjoying the holiday season with friends and visiting family members.
"When I Find the Ocean," a film in which George plays a preacher, is scheduled to have its world premiere at his film festival. The film also has been accepted for screening at Sundance next year.
ELINOR DONAHUE gave a superb performance as Esther Davis in an October episode of "Cold Case."
EARLE HAGEN's TAGS theme music made a nice cameo at the end of a "Boston Legal" episode in October. If you've always wanted to see William Shatner and/or James Spader walking down a street with fishing poles on their shoulders and the TAGS theme playing, then keep an eye out for the rerun. The episode is called "A Whiff and a Prayer." For the record, the version of the theme that was used on "Boston Legal" was the track with an orchestra from the "Songs, Themes, and Laughs from TAGS" album.
JOY ELLISON (Effie Muggins, Mary Wiggins and other Mayberry pals of Opie) was dialect coach for Catherine Zeta-Jones in "The Legend of Zorro" now in theaters. She also provides the same service for other actors in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain," which is in limited release now, and in Steven Spielberg's "Munich," which opens at Christmastime.
LeROY McNEES and wife Jan continue to enjoy their RV tour of America. They're about a third of the way through their two-year journey. In addition to a September stop at Mayberry Days, they also made an extended stop in Nashville for the bluegrass music convention in late October.
In addition to the loss of our beloved Jean Carson, Mayberry mourns the passing of three other people who worked on TAGS.
BOB DENVER died on Sept. 2 of complications after surgery for cancer in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was 70 years old. Bob gave the world Gilligan, but he gave Mayberry one episode as Dud Wash, Charlene's husband in "Divorce Mountain Style" (Episode 120). He was born in New Rochelle, N.Y., on Jan. 9. 1935. Besides Gilligan, he was probably best known for his portrayal of Beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" from 1959 to 1963. He is survived by wife Dreama and four children.
We're also sad to note that singer/actor HAMILTON CAMP died of a heart attack on Oct. 2, in Los Angeles. He was 70 years old. His single appearance on TAGS was as Jeff Nelson, the jailbird songbird in "The Barbershop Quartet" during the show's seventh season. (He also appeared in once episode of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.")
Born in London, England on Oct. 30, 1934, Hamilton Camp enjoyed success in music as well as acting. Performing as Bob Camp, he was one half of the folk duo "Gibson and Camp" with Bob Camp. He studied acting at Second City and other companies and was seen as a guest in many top TV series from the 1960s to present day, including an episode of "Desperate Housewives" last season. He also worked extensively in feature films and provided voices for countless animated series and features. Though he has "passed away in silence," we'll always remember his beautiful singing of "In the Gloaming" just as we did once long ago. Preceded in death by wife Rasjadah, Hamilton Camp is survived by six children and nine grandchildren.
We also are very sorry to report that writer Fred S. Fox has passed away. He died of pneumonia in Encino, Calif. on Oct. 23. He was 90. His career in comedy writing is like an encyclopedia of the all-time greats from World War II to the late 1980s. He worked with Bob Hope for over four decades. He probably wrote more material for and with Bob Hope than anybody else. He also wrote for George Burns, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Lewis, Danny Thomas, and on down the list comic superstars. His TV shows included everything from top variety programs and specials to groundbreaking sitcoms, such as "All in the Family." When you watch the credits on TV Land programs, you'll notice that few names will follow "Written by" more often than Fred S. Fox.
In Mayberry, Fred Fox wrote seven episodes: "The Clubmen" and "Deputy Otis" (both with Iz Elinson in the second season) and "The Barbershop Quartet," Politics Begin at Home," "Don't Miss a Good Bet," "The Statue" and "Big Brothers" (all solo) in the seventh season. He wrote extensively for other shows with fellow TAGS writer Seaman Jacobs.
Fred Fox was almost as well known in Mayberry for an episode of the show that he didn't write. Andy Griffith, Harvey Bullock and others still laugh when recalling how Fred desperately wanted to write "The Pickle Story." During a session with writers, Sheldon Leonard was assigning stories to various writing teams. When he got to "The Pickle Story," Fred, who was famous for his stutter, looked to writing partner Iz Elinson to speak up and claim the blue-ribbon story for their team. But Iz was distracted and didn't notice that "The Pickle Story" was up for grabs. Harvey's eager eyes caught Sheldon's attention, and he got the assignment. As Harvey enjoys telling it, Fred jumped up and yelled, "For g-g-g-god's sake, Izzie, you b-b-b-blew ‘The Pickle Story'!"
Fred Fox, a Writers Guild of America Award-winner, didn't miss many other writing opportunities during his long, successful career. He is survived by his brother Henry, children Jan Fox and Fred S. Fox, Jr., and a granddaughter.
**** EVENT CALENDAR ****
* Now: "Chicken Little" (with Don Knotts as the voice of the Turkey Mayor) is now in theaters nationwide.
* Nov. 9: President Bush presents Andy Griffith
with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil
award, in a ceremony at the White House. Check your local TV
programming for coverage.
* Nov. 10 to April 2006: Ronnie Schell and Ruta
Lee return for a second season of starring in "Senior Class: A Revue of
the Golden Years" at the Palme d'Or Theatre in Palm Desert,
Calif. For more info, visit http://www.seniorclassrevue.com
or call 1-888-240-3003.
* Nov. 11: Doug Dillard and Rodney Dillard perform
at the Greater Downstate Indoor Bluegrass Festival at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel in Springfield, Ill. For more info, visit:
* Nov. 25: The Roland White Band performs at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn. Show time: 9:00. For details, visit http://www.stationinn.com
* Dec. 2 and 3: Roland White hosts Bill Monroe Appreciation Nights at the Station Inn in Nashville. For further info when available, visit http://www.stationinn.com.
* Dec. 2-4: Jim Nabors hosts "A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors" at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu, Hawaii. Box Office Phone: (808) 528-0506. (Box Office Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.). Visit the website at http://www.hawaiitheatre.com/index.html
* Dec. 9: We're not sure what Ben Weaver would say about it, but David Browning performs "Scrooge" at the Oakboro Music Hall in Oakboro, N.C. For more info, visit http://www.oakboromusichall.com.
* Jan. 7: George Lindsey performs at Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Fla., as part of Nashville Legends show that also stars Bill Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens. Show time is 2 p.m. Reserved seats go on sale Dec. 6 at 10:00 a.m. Call (863)324-2111, option 2. For more info, visit http://www.cypressgardens.com.
* Feb. 11: Doug and Rodney Dillard perform at the Palatka Bluegrass Festival in Palatka, Fla.
* Feb. 14: The Complete 5th Season of "The Andy Griffith Show" is released on DVD.
* Mar. 3-5: 9th Annual George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. See updates at http://www.lindseyfilmfest.com.
* Apr. 21 and 22: Mayberry-related event TBA.
* Apr. 27 and 28: Doug and Rodney Dillard and Maggie Peterson Mancuso perform at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, N.C. (The huge, all-star Americana music festival continues through the 30th.) Tickets are on sale now. For more info, visit http://www.merlefest.org.
* May 6: Doug and Rodney Dillard perform at the Lewis Family Homecoming and Bluegrass Festival at Elijah Clark State Park in Lincolnton, Ga.
* May 19: Release date for "The Da Vinci Code," directed by Ron Howard.
* June 15-17: Memphis Film Festival at Whispering Hills Hotel and Convention Center in Olive Branch, Miss. Stars with Mayberry connections scheduled thus far are Maggie Peterson Mancuso and Robert Easton (Pete "Eyelashes" Johnson in "Irresistible Andy" episode). For more info, visit http://www.memphisfilmfestival.com.
* June 23 and 24: Tentative Mayberry event TBA.
* July 29: 6th Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals in Graysville, Ala. Details TBA.
* Aug. 18: Mayberry Night at the Oakboro Music Hall in Oakboro, N.C. For more info, visit http://www.oakboromusichall.com
* Sept. 21-24: 17th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Visit http://www.surryarts.org or http://www.mayberrydays.org for more info as it becomes available. Tickets are on sale now.
* October ?? and ??: Mayberry Comes to Cocoa II in Cocoa, Fla. Definite dates and further details TBA.
* Oct. 23 -27: A Cruise to Mayberry and the Caribbean aboard Carnival's "Fascination" ship. The four-day cruise departs Miami for Key West, Cozumel, and a day at sea. Maggie Peterson Mancuso is the first TAGS star confirmed to be cruising. "Tribute artists" Phil "Ernest T." Lee, Kenneth "Otis" Junkin, Allan "Floyd" Newsome and Bob "Briscoe" Mundy will also be cruising. Other Mayberry stars and tribute artists TBA. Rates start $249 plus $132 Port Tax per person, based on two per cabin. For more info, see our Event Calendar at http://www.iMayberry.com and click on the link provided under the Oct. 23 Cruise listing. Or call cruise coordinator Sharon Euliss at All About Cruises in Burlington, N.C., at 1-800-832-7993. Or e-mail Sharon at PWESJE@aol.com.
**** MERCHANDISE UPDATE ****
In addition to the new items listed below, we're expecting a CD single featuring George Lindsey to arrive on our shelves before Thanksgiving. So check back for that. Meanwhile, here are the newest items already in stock:
The Complete Fourth Season of TAGS is scheduled for release on DVD on Nov. 22. We're taking pre-orders now at the Weaver's Web site (at http://www.iMayberry.com), by phone, and by mail. We'll ship orders received on or before Nov. 22 by Nov. 23. Orders received after Nov. 22 will begin shipping the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. We have the Fourth Season available both as a set by itself and as a combo with some other items.
The release of the Complete Fifth Season of TAGS is scheduled for release on Feb. 14, 2006. Also, the first release of episodes of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." is expected in early 2006. Weaver's Dept. Store will begin taking pre-orders for the TAGS Fifth Season on Feb. 1. Weaver's will be stocking the "Gomer Pyle" DVDs when they're released, too.
Here are our various offers that include the DVDs for the Complete Fourth Season:
* The Complete Fourth Season of "The Andy Griffith Show" on DVD $32.00
This watershed Fourth Season is considered by many critics and fans to be the best of the entire series. A quick scan of the episode titles makes a superb case for that opinion. The suggested price for this set is $40.00, but Mr. Weaver is happy to be able to offer them for $32.00.
* Fantastic Fourth Season Combo $40.00
For those who haven't been able to take advantage of the first three combos featuring just a Complete Season DVD Set and the Series 2 Trading Cards, here's yet another offer featuring nothing but the DVDs and trading cards. You get:
- Complete Fourth Season of "The Andy Griffith Show" on DVD
- Complete Set (factory sealed) of Series 2 of "The Andy Griffith Show" Trading Cards (110 cards; rare collectible, out of production since 1992).
The price for both the DVD set and the card set is only $40.00, which, as with the other three seasons, is the suggested retail price of the DVD set by itself.
* Deputy Fife's Deluxe Holiday Combo $52.00
Ho-ho-ho, Mayberry Christmas! With this combo, you get:
- Complete Fourth Season of "The Andy Griffith Show" on DVD
- "The Christmas Guest" book/CD single by Andy Griffith. This is the companion to Andy's full-length Christmas Guest" CD. The CD single that comes with the 64-page hardcover book features Andy singing "Go Tell It on the Mountain," as well as his moving rendering of the "Christmas Guest" story.
- Complete Set (factory sealed) of Series 2 of "The Andy Griffith Show" Trading Cards (110 cards; rare collectible, out of production since 1992). Psst…great stocking stuffer!
- Plastic "Andy Griffith Show" Logo Ornament
The suggested retail price for these items would be about $72.00. Even at Weaver's everyday low prices, they would still cost $59.00 if purchased separately. But in the holiday spirits, ol' Ben has let Barney talk him into wrapping all of these into a nice Christmas bundle for only $52.00.
* Box Set of the Complete First Four Seasons of "The Andy Griffith Show" on DVD $128.00
The Complete First, Second, Third and Fourth Seasons of the show (a total of 127 episodes) are included in this set that has been packaged with no frills. The suggested retail price is $160.00. We're able to offer the set for a budget-pleasing $128.00.
We also still have DVD sets for the Complete First, Second, and Third Seasons available as individual seasons and in various combo offers. See details at the Weaver's site online.
**** FOUR OTHER NEW ITEMS and TWO SPECIAL OFFERS****
* Official 2006 "Andy Griffith Show" Wall Calendar $13.00
For the third year in a row, Mayberry fans get to enjoy an "Andy Griffith Show" Wall Calendar. This 2006 calendar is similar to the ones for 2004 and 2005. (A few of both of those are still available. There's still a little time to get some use out of the 2005 edition, and both of the earlier calendars are valued as collectibles.) The new 2006 Wall Calendar has black & white photos featuring Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, and Gomer. The calendar measures 11 x 12 in. when folded. Make a date (lots of them!) with Mayberry in 2006!
* "Mayberry Moments, Volume 1" CD by Rodney Dillard (disc autographed by Rodney) $15.00
Listen to a Darlin' Boy talk! Rodney Dillard finds inspiration for lessons in episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show." In 25 one-minute segments that were originally syndicated radio broadcasts, Rodney recalls scenes and episodes and applies them to daily living. While those Darling boys weren't talking, they obviously were doing more thinking than some folks gave them credit for.
* "This Is the Time: The Dillards Songbook Collection" $20.00
This brand new, 40-page songbook has sheet music (and lyrics) for 26 favorite Dillards tunes, including almost everything the group played as the Darling Boys on "The Andy Griffith Show." There's a Foreword by Mitch Jayne, a Preface by Rodney Dillard, and a Discography, plus some fun photos of the group that were taken at Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C., in 2004. This is a "must have" item for any fan of The Dillards and Mayberry, whether the instrument you play is stringed or whether you just get your guitar and banjo sounds out of a jug the way Briscoe Darling does. Either way, there'll be more power to you with this superb songbook covering four decades of Dillards classics.
* "SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR" on DVD $26.00
Starring Andy Griffith and Julie Adams (Mayberry's Nurse Mary Simpson), this critically acclaimed 1976 made-for-TV production can be hard to find, but ol' Ben found a few brand new copies on DVD. The production was directed by Stacy Keach and produced by Norman Lloyd (father of Josie Lloyd, Mayberry's Lydia Crosswaith). Academy Award winner John Houseman also stars in this production. It runs 90 minutes.
* "Goober's Grab-Bag of Goob Stuff" IN SUPPORT OF KATRINA RELIEF $30.00
Ol' Ben Weaver has been scrounging around in his basement again and has put together enough assorted items to bring back one of our all-time most popular offers...Goober's Grab-Bag.
We have only a few of this new Grab-Bag--just enough to advertise that we have them. The Grab-Bag is mostly paper items, but there are a few intriguing extras. Each Grab-Bag is guaranteed to have at least 30 different items, including these highlights:
* 1 copy of the Special Edition of the September 24, 2004, "Mount Airy News" featuring coverage of the dedication of the TV Land Landmark statue on that date.
* 1 copy of the "Mayberry Gazette," the promotional newspaper of Mayberry in the Midwest III in New Castle, Ind., in 2004.
* 1 Mayberry book with a cover price of at least $10.00
* 1 Mayberry-related audio cassette
* 1 black & white 8x10 photo of a favorite Mayberry star
* 1 color 8x10 of a favorite Mayberry star
* 1 oversized collectible TAGS trading card (rare)
* 1 large Mayberry poster
* 1 Mayberry-related cardboard fan or a second (different from the first) poster (our choice based on availability)
* 1 Mayberry lapel pin
* 1 10-card wax pack of Series 1 TAGS trading cards (rare)
* 2 Mayberry bumper stickers
* 1 Mayberry magnet or button (our choice based on availability)
The rest of the Grab-Bag is made up assorted newsletters and promotional literature about Mayberry events or stars, but we think you'll easily find your money's worth just in the half of the items listed above.
The price of the Grab-Bag is $30.
All proceeds (not just the profits, but 100%) will go toward TAGSRWC's and Weaver's support of relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. (The Grab-Bag proceeds had originally been designated for the Surry Arts Council and Mayberry Days, but we'll figure out something else to help that cause. The Grab-Bag was something we could readily convert into help for Katrina victims). Our donations are going to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Relief Fund.
* Mayberry Buildings to Help Rebuilding After Hurricanes
While TAGSRWC and Weaver's have several ongoing efforts to help people suffering from recent hurricane damage (straight donations to relief agencies and the sales of Goober's Grab-Bag of Goob Stuff above are the two main ones so far), Mr. Weaver got to studying about how he could do even more.
He looked at the 12 designs of painted, wooden Mayberry building fronts that we've sold for the last five or six years. The limited-edition building fronts are out of production now, but Mr. Weaver still has some. Wouldn't it be great to use the sales of these building fronts to raise money for those who have lost their homes? Mr. Weaver thought.
And so it is that Weaver's is now donating all profits from the sale of our wooden Mayberry building fronts to Habitat for Humanity. We'll be ear-marking the donations specifically for Habitat's efforts in areas hit by Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
The wooden building fronts have traditionally sold for $18.00 each. A set of all 12 has been on sale for $199.00 at Weaver's. In hopes of selling more buildings and raising more money, we're lowering our price to $15.00 each and $180.00 for a complete set. That price reduction will cut into the funds raised per building and per complete set, but we're hopeful that we'll sell more buildings and ultimately raise more money for Habitat for Humanity by lowering the price.
Whether you're a brand new collector or a previous collector of the Mayberry building fronts who needs to complete a collection, there has never been a better time to bring these buildings home and help build homes for others at the same time.
And for anybody who doesn't wish to purchase any of the wooden buildings, the option of making a straight donation directly to Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, or other established relief charities is always a welcome option that both Weaver's and TAGSRWC encourage. But if wooden Mayberry buildings have ever been on your list of possible purchases, now's an outstanding time to make that purchase and help a good cause at the same time.
Back in Stock:
* "Barney Sippin' Soda" Print $10.00
This popular print by artist Brad Keim is back in stock. We've found a handful of this officially licensed print in Weaver's Arts Archives and are delighted to be able to offer it again, for as long as our supply lasts. The print is on sturdy, 12 x 14-inch art-quality paper. The actual artwork portion of Barney measures 8 x 10 inches. NOTE: The print is NOT matted, but it is designed for a mat and is suitable for framing. The best part is the price. It's just $10.00. The print is now out of production. When we sell the ones that we currently have left, that'll be it for this print. Don't get caught trying to sip your soda, but getting nothing but air. Order this tasteful print today!
**** CHAPTER UPDATE ****
We're pleased to welcome five new chapters since the last "eBullet." They are:
Barney and the Choir Wadesboro, N.C.
Aunt Bee's Home Cooking Cheviot, Ohio
Carter & Wakefield Radford, Va.
Six and Seven-Eighths Oxford, N.C.
Andy Griffith Parkway Pilot Mountain, N.C.
That brings our total number of chapters since TAGSRWC was founded in 1979 to 1,284.
If you are interested in starting a chapter of TAGSRWC, all you have to do is pick a name that has not already been chosen and submit a list of your founding members by postal mail. What you do as a chapter is entirely up to you. Your group can do as much or as little as you like. Or write to us also if you would like to contact a chapter near you. Our address is TAGSRWC, 9 Music Square South, PMB 146, Nashville, TN 37203-3286.
**** CHAPTER NEWS ****
September saw another picture-perfect Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Chapters and fans from at least two dozen states turned out for the annual celebration of Mayberry. It was nice to cap this 45th Anniversary of TAGS with such a thoroughly enjoyable event. And the festival had an added poignancy of having numerous tributes and special touches honoring the late Howard Morris and his alter ego, Ernest T. Bass. Everyone was pleased that Howard's son, David, was able to attend the festival for its entire run.
TAGS stars participating in this year's celebration included Doug Dillard, brother Rodney Dillard, Maggie Peterson Mancuso, Betty Lynn, Elinor Donahue, James Best, LeRoy McNees and George Spence.
Dennis Beal of Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) won the Mayberry Days Trivia Contest, ending a long tour of Mayberry Days victories by the Lance Armstrong of Mayberry Trivia, Pat (Aunt P.) Bullins. Folks are already anticipating the rematch in 2006.
We might as well go ahead and mention that Dennis also was crowned as the winner of the First Annual "Chester Jones, You're a No-Good, Cheatin' Liar" Checkers Tournament. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that Dennis also was the organizer of the tourney.
Speaking of Mr. Fix-It, Dean Colyar of "She Called Me a Creatster" chapter (Tullahoma/Johnson City, Tenn.) won the Virgil Hosh Trophy in the Mayberry Days Horseshoe Pitching Contest. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that Dean also was the organizer of the tourney. Dean and fellow Creatsters Allan and Phil and Remembering Mayberry chapter (Chillicothe, Ohio) member Neil—no last names, for their protection—also successfully claimed the Barney's Bullet Award for the Highest Single Round (again!) in the Mayberry Days Golf Tournament. (Yes, that means last place.)
Deloris Cummings of "Hearty Eatin' Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women" chapter (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) won High Score in the Mayberry Days Bowling Tournament. Her team (including Mary Dowell of Snappy Lunch) also won the First Place team trophy. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that your friendly editor was the manager of the winning bowling team. (That the team's winning ways began a few years back when he removed himself from the roster of players should not be held as a strike against him. He spares no effort for the good of the team.)
TAGSRWC presented its two major annual awards at the TAGSRWC Annual Meeting. Kenneth Junkin presented the Mayberry Friendship Award to a very deserving Dennis Beal, who, besides mastering trivia and checkers, shows true Mayberry friendship as a strong leader of Mayberry chapter and an enthusiastic participant in all aspects of being a TAGS fan. (If you think this issue of "The eBullet" is becoming "The Dennis Beal Advertiser," then you'd better brace yourself before reading Miss Crump's Quizzes below. And we definitely shouldn't mention that in October the "Knoxville News Sentinel" ran a story about Dennis with the headline "King of Mayberry.")
The other presentation at the TAGSRWC meeting was for the Jim Schwenke Memorial Award, in honor of the late founder of the Mayberry Texans chapter (Houston, Tex.). This year's award was presented by Allan Newsome (the first recipient of the award, who was followed last year by Barney chapter's Jim Ballance). This year's recipient is Gary Wedemeyer of "Irritatin', Ain't It?" chapter in Fall Branch, Tenn.
Gary had been in town for most of the weekend, but was called home to Tennessee just before he was to be presented his award. ("Irritatin', ain't it?") Good things were still said about him, anyway. Gary organized three Mayberry at MeadowView reunions in the 1990s. He rendered TAGSRWC's first and only official T-shirt so long ago that most folks have never seen it. But they have seen his other Mayberry-related artwork through the years, much of which he donates to charities connected to Mayberry and Mayberry events. Folks also see the big heart of the soft-spoken man.
Gary's award ended up being presented to him live on the air by Tim White ("Got Time to Breathe, Got Time for Music" chapter of Blountville, Tenn.) during Tim's daily "Taste of Bluegrass" show on WGOC Radio in Johnson City, Tenn. What that means, of course, is that a TAGSRWC award show actually has now been broadcast. Leonard Blush, watch out!
In other chapter news, several Mayberry squad car replicas participated in the opening parade at the UAV-Ford 500 NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway on October 2. Among the drivers and their crews were Kenneth Junkin, Kevin Snead and Tim Chism (all of the "Hearty Eatin'" team of Tuscaloosa), Joel Laird of Aunt Bee Haven chapter (Anniston, Ala.) and Rockin' Ricky and Jeffrey Carnes of Mayberry Squad Car chapter (Canton, Ga.). It was all part of a high-speed salute to the 45th Anniversary of TAGS, which officially was the next day, Oct. 3.
Sensing an opportunity to bookend their raceway commemorations of Mayberry's 45th Anniversary during October (and thereby "Goober their way in" to another NASCAR race for free), owners of two Mayberry Squad Car replicas (the Canton nuts again and Robert and Jill Shelby with their vehicle representing GOOBER'S AUTO DISMANTLING chapter in West Frankfort, Ill.) participated in the opening parade for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 30. All of these NASCAR events are just a prelude to next summer's 6th Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals in Graysville, Ala., organized by the HEARTY EATIN' bunch and hosted by Mayberry Minutemen chapter.
Speaking of replicas on a grand scale, the modern, full-scale reproduction of the Taylor home created by David and Marsha Scheuermann of Mayberry Scout Troop #44 (Clear Lake, Wisc.) has been officially licensed to operate as a bed and breakfast and will ease into full operation sometime next year. Meanwhile, members of the press (besides us) are already taking notice. A reporter from the "Minneapolis Star-Tribune" was the first to come knockin'. We'll be providing more info about how to contact this exciting new Mayberry "Bee and Bee" as soon as they're ready to start handling large numbers of inquiries.
We hate to end this section on a sad note, but we wanted to observe that Mike Gilmore of "BARNEY'S FIRST CAR" chapter in Roanoke, Va., died of a heart attack on September 7 at age 62. He was a longtime member of TAGSRWC and, along with son Jason, spearheaded the 2003 "Mayberry Memories in Word and Song" reunion show with TAGS cast members in Roanoke. The Gilmore family has been active in attending Mayberry events, doing important research, and staying in touch with fans and the TAGS cast and crew for decades. In our newsletters, we're not able to mention the passing of every TAGSRWC member and friend that we know, but Mike, Jason and Jason's mother, Rita Enoch, are members whom a great many of our readers have crossed paths with over the years. We wanted to acknowledge that relationship and make sure that readers who knew Mike or know Jason, are aware of this news as our thoughts remain with the family.
**** Miss Crump's Mayberry QuizZES ****
Answers to Miss Crump's Mayberry Quiz #65
Old Lady Crump may be showing some age. She sort of forgot all the answers she had in mind for one of the questions below (#3), but she thinks she has figured out a hedge to save face. In any case, allowing for the vagueness of that one fuzzy question, Miss Crump is awarding the winning prize to the two pupils who got the most answers correct: Dennis Beal of Knoxville, Tenn. (surprise, surprise, surprise!) and another previous winner, Stan Nicholson of Ash Flat, Ark.
Congratulations to both Dennis and Stan, who get to select any single item available at Weaver's, except for items in the Collectibles or Special Items sections (you know, where all the expensive stuff is).
Here are the answers Miss Crump was looking for:
1. The town that is referred to as "another Dodge City" by a Mayberry resident ("Sheriff Barney") is Greendale. (The exact quote of "another Dodge City" was key because Mayberry was also referred to as a potential Dodge City.)
2. The community's town hall that is observed to have been erected in 1902 is Greendale. (Was Miss Crump being sneaky with this one or just lazy?)
3. Or is she just forgetful? Five times that Barney Fife has been seen barefooted could include: wading in the duck pond and running from crawdads with Thelma Lou, Andy and Peggy; when Andy is trying to wake him up in the backroom before their first visit to the Darlings cabin; standing in the main room of the courthouse (after Andy has hidden Barney's shoes while Barney napped) before finding out he and Andy have been invited to visit the Esquire Club; while searching for his shoes in the back room around that same time (we sense desperation by Miss Crump!); and while back in the main room still searching for his shoes (utter desperation, Miss Crump!).
Miss Crump feels certain that Barney was barefooted when he received his physical (his footsteps sound like bare feet), but his feet aren't quite seen by us, so that can't count. She also feels certain that he was barefooted just before putting on slippers to sing "Bringing in the Sheaves" to Otis when Bailey's Bad Boy is visiting the jail and when singing to Otis in "Hot Rod Otis," but unless we assume either X-ray vision to see through the walls in the backroom or at least the use of a proto-type of night-vision goggles, she can't lean too heavily on those possibilities. But everybody got credit for getting this question right, anyway, so why don't we just move on!
4. A Mayberry resident who has met Audie Murphy is Opie Taylor, and he has the autograph to prove it from the time the Taylors went to Hollywood and saw "Aunt Bee on TV."
5. In recognition of "Opie's Fortune," Andy calls Opie "Mr. Rockefeller." Not to be confused with Goober, who clearly states, "I ain't no Rockefeller."
BONUS: Miss Crump was at risk of being too commercial with this question, but some respondents took that hint and immediately went to their DVDs with commercials to verify that the one word that sandwich-toting Leon is heard to say is "Good." You'll never have to worry about Leon pulling a "Bank Job" unless there is lots of "good" Jell-O pudding in the vault.
Miss Crump's Mayberry Quiz #66
Well, Miss Crump obviously needs some rest (with her shoes and socks clearly off!), so she has invited another substitute to ask questions this time. The substitute is…Dennis Beal! Now, before you panic about how hard the questions might be coming from the reigning King of Mayberry Trivia, 2005 Mayberry Days Trivia Champ and most recent winner of Miss Crump's Quiz, consider that by having Dennis ask the questions, he is automatically disqualified from entering the contest. (See, Miss Crump does look out for her other pupils, too.) Of course, the trivia field for this quiz is still open to Paul Mulik and other trivia fiends, so it could get ugly (but at least it won't be stupid).
Anyway, here are the questions:
1. Name somebody in Mayberry whose hair turned orange when he or she tried dyeing it blonde?
2. Name six people who have served as Sheriff of Mayberry.
3. According to Barney, who in Mayberry is "as ugly as homemade soup"? Hint: Not the same person as in Question #1.
4. Name three distinct instances in where "John Wayne" is mentioned around Mayberrians.
5. Name two distinct instances when a brother of Aunt Bee Taylor is mentioned.
BONUS: Name someone who is known to have worked at the library in Mayberry.
BONUS BONUS: Name someone who has served as the official newspaper delivery person for the Andy Taylor household.
The deadline for entries to be e-mailed or post-marked is December 10, 2005. To send your answers by e-mail, write to MissCrump@iMayberry.com. By regular mail, send your answers to TAGSRWC, 9 Music Square South, PMB 146, Nashville TN 37203-3286. The answers will be published in the December "eBullet." In the event of a tie for the highest score, we'll draw a name from a hat to select the winner. The prize is the same as for the previous quiz (the choice of any single item online at Weaver's except for items in the Collectibles and Special Items sections). Good luck!
**** POSTNOTE ****
Between issues of "The eBullet," keep up with the goings-on in Mayberry with the more-or-less daily "Who's Been Messin' Up the Bulletin Board?" Digest. It's a free subscriber list that consists entirely of comments, newsflashes, and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up for that list by going to the "Mailing Lists" link at http://tagsrwc.com.
TAGSRWC also publishes "Weaver's Newsletter" in more-or-less alternate months to "The eBullet." Like "The eBullet," the "Weaver's Newsletter" is free. Its focus is mainly on new Mayberry merchandise and collectibles and quick newsflashes. To sign up, go to http://www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/joinebullet.htm.
TAGSRWC's other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our Web site at http://www.tagsrwc.com. It has extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The next issue of "The eBullet" is scheduled for late December.